Back in 2009, White House economist Larry Summers said he felt better about the U.S. economy since Google searches on “economic depression” had declined sharply.
Since he’s a pretty smart guy, I thought I would try the same approach in gauging the trend in American economic optimism. Or, rather, economic pessimism.
I ran a Google Trends search on “malaise,” the word that came to evoke the dismal 1970s and the economic failures of the Carter administration. As you can see from the above chart, searches on “malaise” are on the rise—and that is probably not counting today’s dismal jobs report.